Motivation to Study Japanese

Hey everyone, first post here!

As the title says, do you have anything that motivates you to study Japanese?

Currently its hard to make time to study grammar and do readings, specially since im normally pretty busy.

Im currently n3 trying to get to n2 but it feels like im barely making any progress, which is discouraging.

Im currently living in Japan as a MEXT scholar, but I only use japanese for daily life (which is easy enough), so learning more japanese is more of a personal goal, rather than a need.

I would like to get to the level of reading novels and mangas in japanese, also being able to speak like a normal person instead of sounding like a textbook.

Anyone in the same situation?

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Hi, I’m Jenny :raising_hand_woman:

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Yes, reading manga, novels, watching Vtubers, playing Japanese games. If the material becomes too easy I reach out for harder stuff and there is still stuff too difficult for me to understand like adult novels.

That’s completely normal. Around that point it gets harder to see one’s progress. Also, once you’re a solid N3/N2 all around, you can do much with the language without feeling like you’re still learning.

Does that mean you’re not able to read manga and novels yet? Not sure I understood that correctly.

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When I was in Japan I also didnt 't study anything related to japanese, just the daily small talk was enough to live by. actually some other students ocasionally asked me stuff about the language and sometimes I could help with my little knowledge back then

Only after coming back to my home country I got to know wanikani three years ago, then started taking it serious this time.

My motivation is learning a different language other than English, be able to read Japanese website news and watch anime (not that much anymore since most just dont appeal to me, just an age thing really, we get old we dont like those things from teenage years anymore).

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Uuuhhhh almost reached lv 60. Keep going. You are so close :smiley:

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Hi, I’m currently in a similar spot slacking around N3. However, my speaking skills are kind of ok since i have a japanese girlfriend. But i still lack knowledge and especially time to learn. It’s hard for me to find motivation in the short gaps when I’m home and not working. It’s not that im not motivated to continue, I just can’t force myself to use my little freetime to study. I was in Japan for a 5-months course last year, and wow, i miss that delicate time. Spending hours a day learning and discover Tokyo for the rest of the schedule was just awesome. No work, no responsibilities, just learning. If anyone has recommendations how to replicate that without spending thousand of euros, please let me know.

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There is Crystal Hunters a manga that teaches Japanese, but at your level their Natural Japanese version would probably be fine. There is also a youtuber called Game Gengo who teaches Japanese through video games. Then you can look up native Japanese speakers like StudyIn Daily Japanese to learn how to speak like a native.

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How did you do that the first time around?

I payed around 20k Euro to have a full time language course in Shibuya. But ofc i need to pay it back every month, so this is no valid option anymore for the next years xD

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But to make it actually interactive? Probably VR Chat or playing games in Japanese, set in Japan (Visual Novels, RPGs, etc.).

Sweet lord… :sweat_smile: . Yeah, you would have an equally good track record with 1:1 classes, VR Chat and fooling around with Japanese gamers, etc.

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Yeah maybe i should try to change games to japanese again. Last time i was lost as hell.
Thanks for the reminder :smiley:

Btw. i do not regret my spending at all since it was by far the best time of my life until today. I guess i will never replicate it 100% but just from the learning point of view, it would be nice.

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Consistency beats motivation. 15 minutes a day was my sweet spot. I found I could always manage to snatch fifteen minutes to try and read (even if not always contiguously). SRS on a phone helped as well since any time I was browsing reddit or whatever I could get in a bit of SRS time. It all adds up.

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Apologies for derailing the thread a bit, but was it a matter of genre or general proficiency (too many kanji? hard words?)?

It was mainly a kanji and vocab issue. But tbh if I know the kanji, I’m ususlly more motivated to learn the vocab and look it up. Hence, i need to focus more on WK. Rolling back to the frequency and time issue.

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True, but you wouldn’t be living in Shibuya :slight_smile:

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I would actually prefer Akihabara, but that’s a good point…

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Congrats! It seems like you made it to the “intermediate plateau” as language people like to say. Most people go through this so, keep pushing.

One thing that can be encouraging is take something you tried to read or do 1 year ago (This assumes you studied diligently for the whole year). Maybe you can notice a difference?

Being in Japan is such a boost. That daily life stuff is helping you more than you can imagine. It’s getting that “easy” stuff more ingrained so you have room for harder stuff. Every sign you look at, every bit of JP that hits you is like a free flashcard. I didn’t take advantage of it as much as I could have when I lived in Japan.

As for my motivation, it’s quite fun to unlock a whole new part of the internet, the world, and be able to understand it. New ideas, new jokes, new culture. It’s quite fun to crack the code. Also, I might be a language geek.

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Hey its great knowing Im not the only one going through this.

I will like to add that i feel confortable reading manga and books aimed at children, but Im not ready for manga/books that I would have an interest in, Like Fire Punch from Fujimoto Tatsuki or trying to read Murakami Haruki in Japanese.

So far Im doing weekly japanese classes, conversation club 2 times a month, daily wanikani, but I think im going to add the So-Matome books to the mix.

In any case I will keep at it and Im going to try taking n2 next year, since having that as a goal works for me to focus on grammar and vocabulary.

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tbh im not sure what motivates me to continue :rofl: i think probably just because im too far in now to quit. I dont want to put in all this time for it to go to waste.

How do you feel about the MEXT program? I have only about it from people considering doing it.

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I feel that important vocabularies are depletable. That is, those vocabularies can be ensured recalling in advance. In a sense, important Kanji, too, can be learned well in advance.

There are less important vocabularies that are good to know too. However, the difficulty lies in deciding which should be made sure first, and which can be learned along the way. Erring on more vocabularies isn’t that bad, but there are just too many to learn…

Grammar and comprehension are different. Theories can be learned in advance, but putting to practice just requires a lot of experience, that is, a lot of reading.